Rule 5 - The Game
Sec. 1 CHOICE OF TURN AT BAT
The choice of Home team or Visitor team shall be decided by the toss of a coin, unless otherwise stated in rules of the organization under which the schedule of games is being played.
Sec. 2 FITNESS OF GROUND
The fitness of the ground for a game shall be decided solely by the plate umpire.
Sec. 3 REGULATION GAME
A regulation game shall consist of seven innings.
a. A full seven innings need not be played if the Home team at bat has scored more runs before the third out in the last of the seventh inning.
b. A game that is tied at the end of seven innings shall be continued by playing additional innings until one side has scored more runs than the other at the end of a complete inning, or until the Home team scored more runs in their half of the inning before the third out is made.
c. A game called by the plate umpire shall be regulation if five or more complete innings have been played, or if the Home team has scored more runs than the other team has scored in 4.5 or more innings.
d. The plate umpire is empowered to call a game at any time because of darkness, rain, fire, panic or other cause, which puts the patrons, players or umpires in peril.
e. A regulation tie game shall be declared if the score is equal when the game is called at the end of five or more completed innings, or if the Home team has equalled the score of the Visitor team in the incomplete inning.
f. A game that is:
- Not considered regulation; or
- A regulation tie game;
shall be replayed from the beginning. Original line-ups may be changed when the game is replayed.
EXCEPTION: When the Canadian Championship supervisor suspends a Canadian Championship game, the game shall be resumed at the exact point where it was suspended.
Sec. 4 FORFEIT
a. The provisions of Sec. 3 do not apply to any acts on the part of players or spectators, which might call for forfeiture of the game.
b. A forfeited game is considered regulation.
c. The plate umpire shall declare a forfeit in favour of the team not at fault in the following cases:
- If a team fails to appear on the field or, being on the field, refuses to begin a game for which it is scheduled or assigned at the time scheduled or within a time set for forfeitures by the organization in which the team is playing.
- If, after the game has begun, one side refuses to continue to play.
- If, after the umpire has suspended play, one side fails to resume playing within two minutes after the umpire has called “Play Ball”.
- If a team, after a warning, employs tactics designed to delay or to hasten the game.
- If, after a warning by the umpire, any one of the rules of the game is wilfully violated.
- If the order for the removal or ejection of a player or any person authorized to sit on the team bench is not obeyed within one minute.
- If, because of the removal or an ejection of player(s) from the game by the umpire or for any cause there are less than nine (9) players or ten (10) players with a DP.
- If a declared ineligible player returns to the game and one pitch has been thrown.
- If any team member or spectator attacks any umpire physically.
- If an ejected player, coach/manager is discovered participating in the game again.
Sec. 5 WINNER OF GAME
The winner of the game shall be the team that scores more runs in a regulation game.
a. The score of a called regulation game shall be the score of the last complete inning unless the Home Team has scored more runs than the Visitor Team in the incomplete inning. In this case the score shall be that of the incomplete inning.
b. The score of a regulation tie game shall be the tie score when the game was terminated. A regulation tie game shall be replayed from the beginning.
c. The score of a forfeited game shall be 7-0 in favour of the team not at fault.
Sec. 6 RUN AHEAD RULE
a. A run ahead rule shall result in the conclusion of the game when:
- After 2.5 or 3 complete innings of play there is a difference of 15 or more runs.
- After 3.5 or 4 complete innings of play there is a difference of 10 or more runs.
- After 4.5, 5, 5.5 or 6 complete innings of play there is a difference of 7 or more runs.
b. Complete innings must be played unless the Home Team scores the required number of runs while at bat. When the Visitor Team reaches the required number of runs in the top half of the inning, the Home Team must have their opportunity to bat in the bottom half of the inning.
Sec. 7 TIEBREAKER
a. Starting with the top of the eighth inning, and each half inning thereafter, the offensive team shall begin its turn at bat with the player who is scheduled to bat ninth in that respective half-inning being placed on second base.
b. The player who is running can be substituted in accordance with the substitution rules.
Sec. 8 SCORING OF RUNS
a. One run shall be scored each time a runner legally touches first, second, third bases and home plate before the third out of the inning.
EXCEPTION: Sec. 8a: When the tiebreaker is used the runner starting at second base does not have to touch first base in order for a legal run to be scored.
b. A run shall not be scored if the last out of the inning is a result of:
- The batter-runner being put out before legally touching first base.
- A runner is forced out (including on an appeal play) due to the batter becoming a batter-runner.
- The runner fails to keep contact with the base to which he is entitled until a pitch is released.
- A preceding runner being declared out.
c. A runner shall not score a run ahead of the runner preceding him in the batting order if the preceding runner has not been put out.
EXCEPTION: A run could score in a situation where a line-up has not been followed correctly due to a batting out of order which was not appealed.
Sec. 9 CHARGED CONFERENCES
a. OFFENSIVE CONFERENCES There shall only be one charged offensive conference in an inning.
- This includes the batter, runner, on-deck batter and the coaches among themselves.
- It is not a charged conference when:
a. A pitcher is putting on a warm-up jacket while on base; or
b. If the offence confers while the defensive team is in conference, provided the offence is ready to play when the defence is ready.
- Umpires should not permit any such conferences in excess of one per inning.
EFFECT – Sec. 9a:
- A second charged conference shall result in the ejection of the manager/coach who is part of the second charged conference.
- If two coaches confer, it is the coach who initiated the second charged conference that is ejected.
b. DEFENSIVE CONFERENCES There shall be only three charged defensive conferences, in a seven-inning game, between the manager, or the team representative from the dugout, with the pitcher or with any other defensive player.
EXCEPTION: U14 will have 5 conferences in a 7 inning game.
- For every inning beyond seven, there shall be one charged defensive conference per inning.
- Conferences are cumulative and do not start over with a new pitcher entered into the game.
- If all three conferences (5 for U14) are not used in the first seven innings, they are lost and a team must then follow the one per extra inning rule.
- A conference includes players in the field leaving their position and going to the dugout for instructions, regardless of whether “Time” has been requested or not.
- It is not a charged conference if the coach/manager notifies the plate umpire of a change of pitchers either before or after communicating with the pitcher.
- The manager may legally enter fair territory to talk with any defensive player, while the new pitcher is taking his warm-up pitches, without a conference being charged.
- The conference is over when the manager/coach crosses the foul line returning to the dugout.
- It is not a charged conference for the defence if they confer during a charged offensive conference, provided they are ready to play when the offence is ready.
EFFECT – Sec. 9b:
- The fourth, (sixth for U14) and each additional charged conference in a seven-inning game, or for any charged conference in excess of one per inning in an extra inning game, shall result in the pitcher, who is the listed pitcher at the time of the excess conference, being declared an Illegal Pitcher, who may not pitch for the remainder of the game.
- The illegal pitcher can return to the game but not in the pitching position.
- The conference rule is waived in U12 and under categories.
c. Conferences will not be charged if they take place at any time when the umpire has suspended play.
Sec. 10 CHARGED DEFENSIVE DELAY (U19 and above)
There shall only be one charged defensive delay per half inning.
EXCEPTION: Normal communication between players (incl. a catcher and a pitcher) that doesn’t require either to vacate their position on the field. It shall not be a Defensive Delay if players confer during a charged offensive conference, injury or other administrative delay provided they are ready to play upon the umpire’s request. If a team is out of delays, the umpire will have discretion to grant a brief, escorted visit at the catcher’s request if a cross-up in signals has occurred between the pitcher and catcher.
EFFECT: The second and subsequent defensive delays in a half inning shall result in a ball being awarded to the batter. A second or subsequent defensive delay immediately after a hit, walk or a putout shall result in a ball awarded to the next batter.